Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Breffní Lennon, Niall P. Dunphy, Paola Velasco-Herrejón, Lauren Quinlivan
Conference Proceedings of the STS Conference Graz 2022
Shifting the Power Balance: community-led resistance and the shaping of local understandings of place
Optional Fields
Günter Getzinger, Michaela Jahrbacher, Franziska Häller
Graz, Austria
Past energy transitions have been characterised by strategic geopolitical and socio-economic drivers that rarely considered issues of social justice or community cohesion. This is interesting given the profound systemic reconfigurations that took place. The current transition to low-carbon energy has seen a departure of sorts, particularly in terms of the complex, intersecting drivers involved. Consequently, there has been a widening of the roles citizens are expected to take, particularly in terms of participation and engaging with the energy system. However, differing interpretations of how these roles are to be expressed, and the degree of power to be assigned those roles, has resulted in contradicting responses from local people. The rollout of what appear to be broadly popular renewable energy technologies has met with strong resistance at the local level. Place attachment – especially in terms of belonging, identity, relationships, and acceptance – has come to define localised responses to recent (inter)national energy and climate-related policy. Understanding how place attachment affects the (re)negotiating of local understandings of place is therefore important, as is its role in sustaining narratives of resistance to locally unpopular strategic energy projects. This paper will present findings from the SEAI-funded project, EnergyPolities and cognate work, which explored how governance structures intersect with socio-economic and key socio-cultural factors to influence the social acceptability or otherwise of current energy transition pathways. It will also examine recent responses from powerful actors challenged by emerging citizen participation and engagement roles, and discusses the tactics used to limit the diversity of voices and perspectives in the energy transition.
SEAI RD&D programme
Grant Details
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)